Stocking up is about more than just having something good in the (likely) event when our money becomes worthless. It’s quickly becoming obvious that there are many aspects of our lives today that will be faced with a crisis of existence, not costs.
My little brother has always been a particularly enterprising person. Somehow he learned the value in having something that other’s wanted but which was in short supply. I particularly recall his savvy business skills on display every Halloween. After we finished our Trick or Treating marathon, we kids would inventory all of our candy on the kitchen table and attempt to trade items we didn’t want for items that we preferred. Our standard of trade was usually kind for kind—one piece of hard candy for another or a candy bar for a candy bar—just a simple trade; but my brother always threw a wrench in the whole process. He would do a little bit of trading on Halloween night for his own purposes of eliminating unwanted treats, but he’d hold back the more favorable items that he knew we really liked. He believed that he could get more for his bounty once the sugar high and abundance euphoria had worn off. Yep, at only 8 years old, this boy was shrewd. After a few weeks had passed, he’d start using his loot in exchange for getting out of a particular chore he didn’t want to do, or not telling Mom when he’d broken one of the rules, etc. I remember one time in which he caught my little sister at a particularly vulnerable time. She REALLY had a hankering for a king-sized Kit Kat bar, so she went to the store to purchase one with her babysitting money. Unfortunately though, the store said that they were out and wouldn’t get more in for a few days. Well, my sister was not going to wait a few days to get her chocolate fix, so she offered to pay my brother the full price that she would have paid at the store for his regular sized Kit Kat bar. My brother spotted her desperation and went into negotiating mode that would have made any Chicago mafia member proud. Within seconds he had my sister offering to pay him TEN times what it would have cost her for a larger Kit Kat bar! Ultimately, she got the candy she wanted, but in exchange for a week’s worth of delivering his early morning paper route!
As silly as it may seem, I think about this childhood ritual as I expand my readiness efforts, but especially when I’m focusing on Medical Preparedness and Food Preparedness. I recognize that many people stock up on food supplies or aspirin so that they’ll have it in the event of some catastrophic crisis. I suspect that this mindset might even be the primary motivating factor for a lot of people who “stock up.” But over the years I’ve noticed that more and more of what I’m investing in isn’t so much about preparing for a financial collapse or astronomical drug prices as it is to GET while I still CAN.
Let’s take the example of ammunition and firearms for a moment. While, yes, I admit that it makes me cringe to see what a box of 100 rounds of 9 mm costs nowadays, what’s even more disconcerting is that there are so many types of ammunition that have made it onto the endangered species lists! Thanks to being committed to self-sufficient living some time ago, I feel like I’m practically a millionaire in the making for owning more than a couple boxes of the endangered long rifle rounds! As I’ve learned and matured over the years in how I approach a self-sufficient life, I actually find myself making my purchasing decisions not because of a “society down” scenario, but for the realistic, everyday scenarios in which I may not even be able to purchase needed items or services regardless of how much money I would throw around. In other words, our everyday life is full of indicators that it’s not about what price we might have to pay for things, but whether or not we can even GET the things we want at ANY price. In recognition of this growing trend, I feel strongly that it’s important for all “preppers” to familiarize themselves with this realistic aspect of our prepared lives today. There are plenty of examples right now, today, which lend credence to this philosophy.
I’ve recently moved to a very small, rural town that I consider to be “out in the middle of nowhere.” Truth be told it’s still more “city-fied” than my husband would prefer, but it feels awfully rural to this city gal. Anytime I have to drive two and a half hours to get to the nearest Costco, I’m roughing it. OK? So, now that I’m in a new area I need to find a doctor who will see me. But guess what? It’s proving to be a rather impossible task. They either want me to have a specific kind of insurance, or they aren’t taking any new patients, or they aren’t taking patients that fall within a particular level of care, etc. I’ve exhausted the entire Yellow Pages listing in one afternoon. It’s no secret that doctors and other health professionals are leaving the profession in droves or that people are losing their insurance coverage left and right. But even before Obamacare came about, this nation had a serious shortage on medical care professionals! So my solution is to be very well planned so that I can maximize any trips I have to make to Civilization to make sure that I make the most of the time and expense that it requires me to continue seeing my previous doctor. I now find myself making lists all month long so that I don’t forget any errand on our “Civilization Day”. *grin*
That brings me to another example. When I first started studying alternative health care methods, I did so specifically in anticipation of a time in which hospitals wouldn’t function properly—perhaps they lost their power in an EMP attack, or the hospital was flooded or swallowed up in an earthquake. However, my attitude is very different today. I don’t need dozens and dozens of bottles of my essential oils, tinctures, and herbs right now, but given the antagonistic and unlawful pattern of behavior that the FDA and USDA have been exhibiting lately, I feel that I can realistically see a time in the future in which the alternative remedies are made illegal to purchase—at any price. There’s already a dire shortage of many common and not-so-common pharmaceuticals going on in our nation, but look at what Spain and other nations are struggling with right now as a result of their economies tanking—they can’t even purchase the most basic medicines at any price because their money is considered “no good” by so many pharmaceutical companies now!
How about the massive food recalls that have impacted the supply of beef and other proteins? When such circumstances are combined with the skyrocketing prices for feed and fuel, as well as the drought conditions which have drastically reduced our cattle supply, it’s not unreasonable to anticipate that merely finding certain cuts of meat will be difficult, let alone being able to afford them! In fact, 4 different grocery chains in my state confirmed that they have stopped carrying several of the more expensive cuts of meat because they simply aren’t available at a price that their consumers will pay. As a result, I’ve actually been doubling my volume of meat purchases with Zaycon Foods lately—because I want to be sure that I have protein in the house even when it’s not found in the stores. (And yes, I’ve become a canning fool!)
- Safe food! It’s nearly impossible to purchase GMO free corn now. So I’ve stocked up on the organic that I’ve been able to find as well as heirloom quality non-hybrid seeds. And along those same lines…
- Healthy food! I have been unable to find a good quality granola that doesn’t contain the cancer-causing ingredient of Canola oil—not even in the so-called health food stores. So, as a result, I’ve had to start making my own granola from scratch. These two examples are applicable to all kinds of preferred food and drink supplies, whether it be raw milk, organic products, items needed to cater to particular food allergies, or even produce that lasts longer than 2 days in the refrigerator!
- It’s not enough that we try to avoid water full of radioactive particulates and prescription drug residues, with the historic drought conditions taking place throughout the nation, combined with the severe contamination events that have unfolded over the past 3 months, and the MASSIVE amounts of water rights and supplies that are being bought up by corporations such as Nestlé’s, I’m genuinely concerned for family members and Preparedness Pro readers that have only addressed their Water Preparedness needs with filtration gadgets or water catching systems. Filters are useless if you have no water to filter, right?! Filters won’t work for most chemical or oil spills. Rain catching systems won’t even be sufficient to keep your cactus plant alive if you’re located in the middle of a drought-stricken area, right?! This is why I strongly suggest that folks take measures to actually store as much water that’s easily accessible without requiring exertion of great physical energy or facing harsh weather to get!
- How about nutrients?! Most people don’t realize that the published nutritional content measurements are completely archaic nowadays because the nutrients aren’t in the soil and so they aren’t in our food. So, just take vitamins, right? Sure, nearly half of all adults take vitamins, but did you know that 99% of all vitamin supplements are synthetic (thanks to the USDA and FDA again by permitting the term “all natural” to be on any vitamin product so long as 5% of the product is made up of natural sources. But here’s the kicker…the synthetic Vitamin E is not efficiently absorbed and used by the body; in fact, they tax the liver much more. In fact, the New York City Medical Academy published a study that showed that consuming synthetic Vitamin E blocked the body’s ability to absorb natural Vitamin E!
- There was a terrible drought in the area that produces the Helichrysum essential oil that I HAVE to have regularly in order to function properly. As a result, it’s not likely that I’ll be able to purchase any Helichrysum from my supplier for as long as 6 months! The Frankincense essential oil that I use originates in Yemen. So you can bet that when I read of the uprisings going on in that area, I increased my stores of Frankincense in anticipation of an interruption in getting the quality of product that I want. Thank goodness I keep a good stash of every one of the essential oils that I use personally.
- As if all of the storms we’ve been seeing all over the U.S. aren’t brutal enough, apparently there are millions of residents who are having to deal with it without the use of electricity or propane due to power outages AND stark shortages of propane! Propane inventories are only HALF of what they were this time last year in the U.S.! And yet, how much worse has the weather been this year over last?? Yikes! Again, just another scenario in which it won’t matter how much money you can flash around; if you don’t have it before you need it, it could easily be too late.
Hopefully, readers of this article will become a little more aware of their needs when considered from this particular viewpoint. More importantly, I hope that by being aware of these types of possibilities, you’ll find more peace in your preparedness efforts because you were able to anticipate your needs.
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